The sun was high as the British Literature class pulled up to Old Gunn Church. The forest around it was alive with the sounds of nature, but the church itself was silent. “It’s beautiful.” Ryleigh realized, staring up at the church. Moss-patched walls and a still-crumbling bell tower stood high above the trees, looming over the world below. Overgrown grass and weeds grew wild between gravestones. This church had once stood in stark contrast to the wilderness around it, but now the forest was taking it back.
The church, now a national historical marker, has been a part of Georgetown’s history for generations. Dr. Simmons lectured the class on the church’s history, explaining that it had been built to serve various plantation owners who lived in the area. The church fell into disrepair after the American Civil War changed the status quo of the south. Then, in a mysterious fire during the 1960s, most of the church burned down. Only the front wall and the bell tower remained, as well as the numerous gravestones still hidden in the weeds behind it. When asked what caused the fire, Dr. Simmons simply shrugged. “Nobody knows. It’s a mystery.”
The fire isn’t the only mystery surrounding Old Gunn Church. Originally known as Prince Frederick Episcopal Church, it is most famous for its supposed haunting- the ghost of one John Gunn. Legend has it that Gunn, who worked for the church, fell to his death from the bell tower and now his spirit haunts the grounds. Fortunately, the British Literature class did not have any encounters with this supposed spirit during their visit to the church. Visitors are no longer able to enter the church, which is fenced off from the general public, but the students still had a great time peering through the fence to look at the almost-forgotten landmark. After learning all about the history and legend surrounding the church, and taking plenty of pictures, it was time to head back to school. “I wish we could have stayed longer.” Margaret sighed wistfully. “It’s just so peaceful here.”
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